Mobile health tool will allow families to keep track of childhood immunizations
Dr. Sarah Kidder, who recently completed her residency with Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s family medicine residency program, received an $11,000 award to develop an app aimed at improving immunization rates.
Hinsdale – Keeping track of feedings, diapers, naps and doctors’ appointments is difficult enough for parents – especially new parents. Add vaccination schedules to the mix and it becomes a juggling act. Dr. Sarah Kidder aims to harness technology to make it easier to keep track of childhood immunizations.
Kidder, who recently completed her residency with Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s family medicine residency program, received $11,000 to develop a smartphone app to improve immunization rates. The award from the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation will allow Kidder to study the feasibility of EasyVax, a mobile health tool she developed to help parents and physicians keep an accurate record of a child’s immunizations.
“We are very proud to have our family medicine program nationally recognized as being on the cutting edge,” said Dr. Gary Lipinski, chief medical officer of Adventist Midwest Health. “Dr. Kidder’s dedication, creativity and resourcefulness will make it easier for families to track their child’s immunizations.”
EasyVax is an electronic healthcare program that is compatible with home computers, iPhones, iPads, and other portable electronic devices. EasyVax has several applications. It provides basic education about childhood immunizations; it alerts parents on when a child’s immunizations are due, and it provides a record of a child’s immunizations that parents can print. Because it is completed by a physician, the EasyVax record will be accepted by other healthcare providers, as well as by schools, sports, camps, and daycare providers. EasyVax can also prevent a child from having duplicate immunizations, which adds to healthcare costs.
“We live in a mobile society, and 40 percent of children in the U.S. will see more than one physician for immunizations by age 2,” Kidder said. “It’s the responsibility of the parents to provide immunization records to schools and other healthcare providers. But parents currently lack reliable and effective tools to maintain and monitor immunization data.”
The American Academy of Family Physicians and government health agencies recommend that a child is fully immunized against such vaccine-preventable diseases as measles, polio, and hepatitis A and B by age 3.
“The goal of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is that 80 percent of children ages 19 to 35 months are fully immunized, but the current national rate is 76 percent,” said Kidder. “Of particular concern in our practice are children ages 12 to 15 months, who fall significantly behind with an immunization rate of only 71 percent.”
A Chicago resident, Kidder graduated from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2009. She recently completed her residency with Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s family medicine residency program, and will be moving to Washington to complete her law degree at the George Washington University Law School.
The Hinsdale Family Medicine Center is the largest healthcare provider for Medicaid-insured patients in DuPage County. The center participates in the Illinois Vaccines for Children program, providing free immunizations to children of Medicaid, under-insured and uninsured families.
Adventist Midwest Health, part of Adventist Health System, includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.
Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.
Media contact: Lisa Parro, senior public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, Lisa.firstname.lastname@example.org; 630-856-2354